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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


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On CAR, Eliasson Cites Rights Up Front, But UN Silent on Sri Lanka in CHOGM

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 25 -- The Central African Republic briefing of the UN Security Council on Monday was, Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson said, under the UN's post-Sri Lanka "Rights Up Front" plan.

That Plan, which Inner City Press first published -- UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky then said it "may or may not exist" -- provides for sounding the alarm to human rights abuses such as those that occurred in Sri Lanka in 2009, when 40,000 civilians were killed.

Eliasson said the alarm will henceforth be sounded, especially when national authorities cannot act.

That is a distinction between CAR, which Eliasson described as falling apart, and Sri Lanka, where it was an authoritarian government, member of the UN, which did the killing. In these cases it is less likely the UN Secretariat will sound the alarm.

Even this month during Sri Lanka's crackdown during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, the UN remained silent as Inner City Press asked four times in a week if they had any comment. Journalists were banned from going to the north, where the killings took place; families of the disappeared were blocked from traveling south to testify. But the UN Secretariat said nothing. Rights up front, indeed.

  While the Central African Republic meeting of the UN Security Council was ongoing, the UN squawked to (some) reporters to go to the UN Censorship Alliance, with its own record on Sri Lanka, see outside coverage here....


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